Houston Heats Up: Eight Semifinalists Announced for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards

Categories: News

goode-co-texas-bar-b-q-jeff-balke-2.5209958.131.jpg
Photo by Jeff Balke
The Goode family was recognized for their restaurant legacy in Houston.
Everything's bigger in Texas, including the number of chefs, restaurants, bars, wine programs and more that were nominated as semifinalists in this year's James Beard Foundation Awards. You know the one -- the so-called "Oscars of the food world." It's kind of a big deal.

The Lone Star State received 25 semifinalist nominations from the James Beard Foundation, ranging from restaurants in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio way out to El Paso and Marfa. But it was Houston that netted the most nods, with eight.

Oxheart and Underbelly are both semifinalists for the Best New Restaurant award, with their chefs independently nominated in two other categories: Oxheart's Justin Yu is a semifinalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year, while Underbelly's Chris Shepherd is a semifinalist for Best Chef: Southwest. Shepherd says he was taken by surprise this morning when he heard the news.

"I was just standing at Blacksmith getting coffee, and my sous chef calls me and says, 'You might want to check Twitter,'" Shepherd said. He laughed, thinking, "Oh no, this is going to be bad."

Underbelly_527.jpg
Photo by Troy Fields
Underbelly was one of two Houston restaurants that received two James Beard semifinalist nods this year.
Of his and his restaurant's nomination, Shepherd simply said: "It's cool when you can do what you want to do and people like that. It's cool when your staff believes in it and when your cooks believe in it and when the city believes in it. That really means something to me."

Joining Shepherd in the Best Chef: Southwest category is Hugo Ortega of Hugo's. Ortega was nominated as a semifinalist last year as well, and advanced to become a finalist at the James Beard Awards in New York City, although he ultimately lost to Paul Qui.

The Goodes, a multigenerational Houston restaurant family, were also recognized by the Beard Foundation. Levi Goode of Goode Company Restaurants is a semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurateur category for the restaurants that he and his father, Jim, have made into Houston success stories over the years: Goode Co. Seafood, Goode Co. Taqueria, Armadillo Palace and Goode Co. Texas Bar-B-Q.

"That's amazing to me," said Shepherd, who was happy to see longtime restaurateurs recognized as well. "They started this little barbecue joint and all of a sudden it's an empire. They keep it family run. It hasn't been taken over; it's theirs and it's what they believe in."

"It's a testament to the city."


Location Info

Oxheart

1302 Nance St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Underbelly

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Hugo's

1600 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goode Co. Seafood

2621 Westpark Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Goode Co. Taqueria

4902 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Armadillo Palace

5015 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Goode Co. Texas Bar-B-Q

5109 Kirby, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Anvil Bar & Refuge

1424 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Uchi

904 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
iprod
iprod

Hugo is the only person or restaurant on the list from Houston who deserves a JB award

Chris Boyle
Chris Boyle

Gotta go with the Goode family. Oh and IMHO, honorable mention to the Laurenzo family. Opening an ET on Navigation, next door to Ninfas. Gotta love it!

Schnabel
Schnabel

Wait, don't tell me, are you saying that only our chefs were nominated, and not our food writers? We have some real luminaries here wielding a pen: Marene Gustin, Taylor Byrne Dodge, Robin Barr Sussman, Whitney Radley, to name but a few.

Craigley
Craigley

Goode Grief!  We deserve better!

Deja Cain
Deja Cain

My eyes are on Tyson Cole of Uchi!

Emily Kelly Hilton
Emily Kelly Hilton

Easy: my money's on Shepherd. Oh! Can we please have a JB pool like they do for the Oscar's? That would be awesome!

Roberta Montgomery
Roberta Montgomery

Go to Goode Company BBQ and tell them your from Cypress Ridge High School and money will be donated to RAP - party after the prom for the class of 2014.......

Raven
Raven

@Schnabel 

And I would add to that exulted list one Eric Sandler; when he's at the top of his game, the man approaches a press release much like Michelangelo would a solid block of marble, coaxing from it both nuance and fullness, crafting it into a masterwork that you will read and reread with pleasure.


kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

@Schnabel These are just the semifinalist nominations for the chef/restaurant awards. The journalism and other media award finalists will be announced around the same time in March.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editortopcommenter

@Craigley I'm admittedly not the biggest fan of Goode Co. Bar-B-Q, but am a huge fan of all the other Goode projects. Goode Co. Seafood = outstanding campechana and po-boys. Goode Co. Taqueria = outstanding breakfasts, pecan waffles, migas, venison, quail, etc. Armadillo Palace = outstanding chili and my God man, the chicken fried steak. THE CHICKEN FRIED STEAK.

texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

@Craigley I see what you did there, you're wrong, but I see what you did there.....

e_sandler
e_sandler

@Raven So glad you enjoy my work. I'm just happy that I get to check "Randomly insulted by an EOW commenter" off my career bucket list. 

Schnabel
Schnabel

@kshilcutt @Schnabel  Ok, thanks, and I nearly overlooked the local writing of Beatrice Allen. Just phenomenal.

Congrats to the chefs!

ferrigan
ferrigan

@Daphne @e_sandler @Raven 

(that IS kinda funny...I noticed the same thing on Eater. One commenter even notes that yeah, Eater is an aggregator, but aggregating press releases might be pushing the envelope just a bit). On the other hand, we could give a nod to Eric for transparency.

Daphne
Daphne

@e_sandler @Raven 

Lately, I've noticed that you're merely attaching the press releases to your pieces, instead of coaxing out the essence and marrow to create something new. Are you ok?

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...